On their latest release, Give the People What They Want, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings showcases the dynamic frontwoman’s high energy and resolve more than ever. The band returns to Philadelphia tonight to play Union Transfer and for her fans, Jones’s return to the stage is a triumph, given that the singer was diagnosed with cancer just last year. Regardless, the new album is full of great tracks like “Retreat!” and “Stranger to My Happiness.” Join Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and James Hunter for a night of classic soul. Get more info here at the XPN Concert Calender.
Saturday night’s sold out Eels show at World Cafe Live had plenty of oddball moments, from the sad clown singing tragic songs, to Mark Oliver Everett and the rest of his track-suited gang schticking it up for a solid hour and a half set.
The night started with a clown named Puddles meandering through the crowd with a old suitcase and lit lantern. He seemed to be looking for someone but never found them. He suddenly climbed on the stage from the crowd, placed his suitcase down and just stood at the microphone looking nervous. Then the house music stopped, the lights went down and Puddles Pity Party’s performance began. His voice was a strong while he sang sad tunes to minimal recordings about losing his past loves and being alone. Suddenly a guy in a dress wearing a monkey mask came out and sat at the front of the stage, eating bananas and making lewd gestures with them while throwing the peels into the crowd. Puddles never acknowledged the monkey-person though. All puddles did beside sing was dry his eyes with tissues during “Lonely Guy,” before leaving the stage the same way he came. He even did a crushing rendition of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” Really, it was hard to not feel sorry for the him – the performance felt real. Puddles Pity Party wasn’t gimmicky, it was truly moving.
New Jersey’s Nicole Atkins played next, but without her band. Her soulful, solo-guitar set was outstanding and seemed to make the crowd melt a little more with every song. “Cry Cry Cry,” from 2011’s Mondo Amore was a stand-out. She shared the new and unreleased “Red Ropes,” and wore her heart on shoulder as she sang surprisingly heartbroken songs.
Before Eels took the stage, the crowd was abuzz, knowing they were about to get a couple laughs and see one of the most tongue-in-cheek rock shows around. As the band walked out, they were greeted immediately by people yelling “The Chet!” – the guitarist in the band, and a fan favorite. They started their set just as their latest record, Wonderful, Glorious does, with “Bombs Away.” Then lead singer Everett, or E, hugged a band member. Then they played the next song from that record, “Kinda Fuzzy,” and E hugged another band member. He’d repeat this for the first four songs; later all five joined in a group hug. Continue reading →
Eels fans are somewhat conditioned to expect the unexpected. The long-running project of songwriter Mark Oliver Everett will release raging rock & roll albums one minute, lush and autobiographical double LPs the next. They toured as a four-piece rock band in the “Alternative Rock” 90s, then performed with mini orchestras and strings. And, ever the absurdist, Everett has a penchant for opening acts that are untraditional, outlandish and just downright bizarre. Here’s a rundown of openers he’s brought through town.
MC Honky; Theater of Living Arts; August 2, 2003
This hulking, balding, elderly funk DJ in a trenchcoat and porkpie hat spent an hour-long set on the 2003 “Tour of Duty” (in support of Eels Shootenanny! LP) puffing a pipe and spinning dope records with disco-danceable beats. The widely accepted theory is that it was simply the man called E in a fat-suit; MC Honky’s lone album, I Am the Messiah, was produced by Everett, and little evidence exists to suggest that Honky is an actual person otherwise. Continue reading →
From the thumping drums at the outset of Wonderful Glorious, you can tell that Eels impresario Mark Oliver Everett is back in aggressive rock mode – something we haven’t heard to this degree since 2009′s Hombre Lobo. The new album will be released on Vagrant Records next Tuesday, February 5th, but you can stream the entire thing today in the player below. Eels perfroms at World Cafe Live on March 2 with Nicole Atkins. Tickets and information on the all-ages show can be found here.
If you’ve seen the new Paul Rudd – Leslie Mann mid-life / mid-marriage meditation This is 40, you know that it does a great job mixing rom-com sentimentality with hysterically crass Judd Apatow-isms and a healthy dose of music nerdery. British pub rocker Graham Parker appears as himself in a role that’s simultaneously triumphant and self-deprecating, and we also get a quick cameo from Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong. Turns out there were even more guest spots on the cutting room floor. Earlier this week, Consequence of Sound hipped us to this scene with Eels frontman Mark Oliver Everett. Or, wait, is he just Eels incarnate? He clarifies that for us, but not after a husky and heartrending performance of “What I Have To Offer” from 2010′s Tomorrow Morning LP. Watch the video below; see another outtake with Billie Joe pitching a Norwegian death metal twee-pop hybrid at Consequence of Sound; and catch Eels in concert at World Cafe Live on March 2.
AOL Spinner is currently streaming a new track from Eels called “New Alphabet.” The song comes from Mark Oliver Everett’s forthcoming Wonderful, Glorious LP expected out on February 5th through Vagrant Records. ”New Alphabet” is our second taste of Wonderful, Glorious - we heard “Peach Blossom” a couple weeks ago (listen here). Tickets and information for Eels’ show at World Cafe Live on March 2nd can be found here. Listen to “New Alphabet” here.